Media, Violence and Children

In today’s society it is becoming more common for younger children to view and have access to violent media whether it be computer games, TV programmed or on the computer.  However this was not the case many years ago.  In the 1950 only 10% of american homes had a Television.  In modern society 99% of homes have a television.  This shows a significant increase into the the population that are exposed to more things through the media.  Children in particular are exposed to more and more expeiriences that back in the 1950’s society would not have let children experience.

With the increase of television in the home aswell as an increase in children having televisions in their bedroom where the content of what is viewed cannot be monitored this increases the opportunities that the child has to be subjected to violence.

But does any of this really effect the child behavior and development or is this something that can be left and not dealt with having no ripple effects on society.  Research suggest that children who are exposed to high levels of violence do have changes in their behavior.  Research has been going on for a number of years into this area of study and it shows that in many cases children are spending around 28 hours a week on video games or television a week  (that’s more than they would go to school) A child at the age of 4 years old does not have the ability to destinguish between fact and fantasy.  Which can result in a child seeing violence and acting this out, they would not know it was wrong.  If this type of behavior was to continue without anyone correcting them they would go on in society thinking this violent behavior was acceptable and that they could carry on with it.  Children who go through life with seeing violence and not being corected on the acceptable behaviour start to become desensitized to the violnece that they see and then thay start to no be able to empathise with the the situations that they may find themselves in.

All of these factors lead us to a society today that is becoming something very different from 30 odd years ago and the increase in violence is becoming apart that it is coming from a society of violent media and computer games. Games need not be violent to be able to sell more or to be able to enjoy them. Children are so easily influenced they need to be having games that teach them positive attitudes in life and more research is being carried out on how to achieve this in modern day society.

 

References:

Anon (2010) American Academy of Child Adolescent Psychiatry.Retrieved from (March 2012) http://www.aacap.org/cs/root/developmentor/the_impact_of_media_violence_on_children_and_adolescents_opportunities_for_clinical_interventions

Anon (2006) American medical association. Retrieved from (March 2012) http://archpedi.ama-assn.org/cgi/reprint/160/4/348.pdf
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Child’s play

As the current school curriculum involves children to be more active, out door forest schools aswell as indoor activities and after school clubs available 7 days a week we see children living lives as busy if not busier than an adults. It is becoming unclear at what point children become over scheduled to their developmental detriment or I’d emotional stress develops.

Free play is when a child is given or can chose for themselves what they are next going to play with, there is no adult interaction and the child can be left to explore their own world around them but still with adult supervision.  Structured or scheduled play is more interactive with adults where the adults chose and guide the child play.  The child is instucted and guided with new ideas, socila skills and more.

Research suggests that Child’s free play is seen to have more benefits than scheduled and structured activities.  Providing a child with free play means that the child can explore important social, emotional and intellectual milestones.

By children living busy lives of extra curriculum activities, and having to many structured activities at a younger age can cause early stress, anxiety and in rare situations depression.  A key benefit of free play is that during free play the child has a mental workout and forms executive control which is the ability to think twice, make quick and conscious decisions and think for their selves. As well as the basics of imagination, role play and creativity.

Research is rapidly influencing the schools systems of encouraging some structured and scheduled activities but much more free play, heuristic play and sensory play included in the free play so that the child can develop through exploring their own world rather than being forced into it.

However a benefit of structured play is that the child can have more experiences and will learn more new skills and the world around them can become bigger with the adult and the structure.

In the light of things having a balance of both structured and free play the child will benefit the most, by learning all sorts of skills, abilities and social benefits. the child can gain the best start in life.

 

 

References

http://www.raisesmartkid.com/all-ages/1-articles/15-the-benefits-of-free-play

http://www.resourcesformomsandkids.com/free-plas-vs-structured-play.html

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=the-serious-need-for-play